Dax Villanueva: Introducing Chaloner olive products and preserves
By Dax Villanueva, 2 November 2015
The farm Falcon’s Nest, tucked away in the Stellenbosch Mountains just off Blaauwklippen road, is home to the Chaloner brand. This 14ha farm has an array of organically grown fruit orchards, namely olives, plums, lemons and oranges which are grown in organically fertilized orchards. Chaloner believes in quality over quantity and aims to retain that ‘home-made’ taste in each creation and for this reason many of their products are made in limited volumes.
Entrepreneur and food enthusiast Perry Chaloner established the Chaloner brand over 20 years ago. Starting out small scale, Perry began creating quirky combinations from the different fruits growing on the farm and shared these creations with his friends and family. The feedback he got was hugely positive and this encouraged him to develop a range of innovative products with these today available internationally.
According to Chaloner, “One of the largest international trends in retail now is the revolt against mass production, with perceptive consumers wanting good quality, locally manufactured, small batch products – products that are differentiated from the mass market.”
Chaloner makes his own brand of extra virgin olive oil, Chaloner Mountain Olive Oil, which is his flagship offering. The oil is carefully blended and cold pressed within 24 hours from nine different cultivars to create beautifully delicate flavours. This olive oil won silver in this year’s SA Olive Awards, and previously received a gold. The biodynamic processing methods used to create their olive oil ensure that at each stage the olives are treated with utmost attention and care. The flavours of Chaloner’s olive oil are peppery, fruity and slightly bitter, with evident notes of walnut and artichoke.
Not surprisingly, Chaloner makes other olive products in addition to oil and the olive and chilli marmalade is a favourite in their range – it has a delicately sweet flavor with hints of chilli, balanced out with the richness of the black olives and is perfectly paired with red meats and strong cheeses.
Also under the Chaloner label are jams, marmalades, chutney and chilli sauces. Chaloner jams, for instance, have a notably high fruit to sugar content, with most products containing less than 45% added sugar. Additionally, no preservatives or additives are used as they detract from the individual flavours of each fruit.
Chaloner states, “Our products are developed for taste, regardless of price point. We use only the finest, freshest seasonal ingredients to avoid having to use much frozen fruit. And we only use wine or balsamic vinegar, never cheaper grape vinegar”
Read more about Chaloner here.